Week 1 – Interactive Interactivity

What is Interaction Design?

Interaction or more well known as Interactive design is everything from a button to a link, something a user can use. As an interactive designer, we design the ways the machine gives feedback. When designing any project we need to ask three main questions. These are:

  1. How do you effect the world? Such as handles or buttons.
  2. How do you feel? How to get feedback from the world?
  3. How do you know? How does the user know what the button or form does?

Interactivity

We interact with everything around us. Phones, computers, books, people, ATM, etc. We use all our senses to interact with these object to gain a better understanding of them. Interactivity can be described as:

  • relating to a program that responds to a users activity.
  • working together so that the total effect is greater than the sum of two.
  • an act or influence on each other.

However to see how “interactive”  something is we can look for certain aspects and see how strongly they come across while using its interface. Aspects such as

  • Feedback – How clear and immediate are the responses are?
  • Control – How well it is controlling the audience through navigation menus, buttons, etc
  • Creativity – Is the piece different, well thought out, have interesting tools and layout?
  • Productivity – Does the interactive help or achieve its goal through the user experience?
  • Communications –  Does it have user input? (Chat, email, community, etc)
  • Adaptability – Can it take on personal qualities, behavior, modifications, etc?

The stronger these aspects stand out, the more interactive the piece is. However a balance is needed with every interactive piece as the user can become overwhelmed.


Summary

Interactive design is a powerful field of design, where it tries to transform complex data into a product that users can understand and learn from. Interactive design consists of 5 key design areas which are:

  • Interactivity
  • Information architecture
  • Time and motion
  • Narrative
  • Interface
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